I think many of you parents who are reading this will agree when I say that celebrating a child’s birthday represents another milestone reached, not only for the child but for the parents as well. Last month, my Summer turned four. Yes, FOUR! While it’s hard for me to believe it has been that long, I also feel relieved that Kayo and I have made it this far at parenting. I’m not saying that we’re experts or that we’ve done a perfect job but I’m thankful that we’ve managed to develop a strong relationship with our first born and that she’s healthy, undoubtedly happy and astoundingly smart!
I, in particular, have had a very roller coaster kind of relationship with Summer. She is very easy to love because of how much fun she is but she is also such a handful that being with her 24-7 will naturally drive one insane (I think that would only be me really…and perhaps Emma!). But I do learn so much from Summer. She teaches me to be more excited about life, even about the little things, to celebrate moments with a bang, to sing at the top of your lungs because you can and to not let your creativity be limited or held back just because others say this is how things are done. Even Summer’s quirky and colorful drawings, which by the way accumulate by the day, teach me to go big and embrace being different. All that and more I learn from this four year old and I cannot be happy and proud enough to say that this little girl is my daughter. She surprises me every single day. 🙂
So on her birthday, Kayo and I did what we could to give her the best day. Months earlier, when I asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday, she immediately said she wanted a party at Lola’s house with her friends. She said she wanted to make things and paint and that she wanted a strawberry cake. Luckily, those were things we could easily do for her!
We decided to have an art party but with a twist! Kayo and I thought it would be fun and inexpensive to serve tacos so that gave us the idea to make it Mexican themed and called it Summer’s Art Fiesta. Despite the rain showers, it was like Cinco de Mayo in August! We had colorful papel picado (perforated paper buntings), cardboard cacti, a piñata, tacos, nachos, salsa, empanadas and a super dance-able Mexican rap/R&B playlist which totally set the tone and everyone seemed to have enjoyed!
And in honor of the celebrant’s request, we prepared art activities for everyone. We had different paper mache animals from Takatak Project which the kids painted and there were clay plates on the tables for the adults to decorate. Of course, the children loved it. They picked the animals they liked and got as creative as they could painting them. What surprised me was how fast the clay plates ran out! The grown ups got pretty serious about painting too.
Summer’s strawberry shortcake was made by one of our friends and coworkers at Honeycomb. It was so good I don’t think we’ve ever seen a cake disappear that fast at any of our kids parties!
My favorite part about Summer’s Art Fiesta are the Thank You cards she eagerly prepared for all her guests. She drew pictures for everyone, each of them telling a different story. Then I used one of my rubberstamps which says “Thank You” and stamped on each card. I hung them up at the party and before the guests left told them to pick a drawing they liked and if they couldn’t tell what it was, to ask the artist. Summer loves to explain her drawings! I think her guests were entertained too.
Kayo and I are happy it all came together (Did I mention, there was no house help at Lola’s that day and that Lola herself was sick and couldn’t be around? Yeah.). But we are most grateful because we had our families and friends helping us out that day. Summer’s Titos and Titas went the extra mile, staying behind after all the festivities to help clean up and pack away. You know who you are and Summer is lucky to have you guys around. Thank you for being her very good friends too!
Summer was so thrilled about turning four that just as we were wrapping up the party, she started talking about turning five and having another party. Haha hold your horses, little girl! Not too fast!
Even if I know time flies and before I know it she’ll be 7 then 12 then 16, I choose to freeze days and moments like these in my mind and heart. The night before her birthday as I was putting her to sleep I told her how I can’t believe she’s turning four. The very next morning when she woke up I greeted her Happy Birthday, we hugged then she told me, “Now do you believe, Mom?”
Summer, I do believe you’re four and that you will keep growing up. It’s just something I cannot stop. But know that you will always be my baby, my sunshine and my best bud. I choose not to believe that these things will ever change. Mom loves you very much!
List of Suppliers:
Invitation design by Nica Cosio and Printed by Novel Kreationz
Party set-up, decoration and piñata by Nica Cosio
Paper mache animal figures – Takatak Project
DAS air dry clay for plates – Hey Kessy
Photos by Kayo Cosio and Mare Collantes